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The Headmaster Ritual Paperback – July 9, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
On the plus side the writing is often lively and with interesting details. The reading is detailed and somewhat addictive. The author succeeds in defining a mood for the boarding school, creating tension and making us want to find out what is going on.
I agree with other reviewers that the author is trying to portray a dark, supposedly "realistic" side to things that is supposed to be more profound than it actually is. This isn't Catcher in the Rye or Lord of the Flies, though. The power struggles, the bungled sexual desires and conquests make me think it should've been headier than it actually turns out to be.
It's very detail-rich, which is good at times, but less good at other times. Details to give realism are nice, but the author sometimes gives names and large paragraphs to characters that are relatively to completely unimportant (and are never seen again in any meaningful ways). There are too many characters introduced within the first 100 pages with few cues about which will later turn out to be important and which unimportant.
The book is a nice effort. I wanted to find out what happened and continued reading. The book was enjoyable, though perhaps needed some tightening and finesse.
Oh, by the way, if you go in expecting a dark comedy you'll be disappointed. It's not so much comedic as dark.
Antrim is a good writer, and strings together very good descriptions of the prep school setting, homes in Boston & Knoxville, and especially New York City street scenes. But, A SEPARATE PEACE this is not. Similarly, anyone looking for a humorous read, (because it is promoted heavily by Christopher Buckley,) will be as disappointed as I.
I don't really understand the negative reviews -- folks seem ticked off at how the book was marketed, which is really odd. (It isn't as though the author normally has any control over that.) The book certainly isn't in the same league as "A Separate Peace", but it's a good debut novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to question if those who reviewed the book read it -- or if they have ever read the classics to which it was compared. Read morePublished on October 6, 2007 by C. Robin
The Headmaster Ritual is sharp and funny and sad in the tradition of Kingsley Amis' "Lucky Jim." It's full of lush prose and painfully well-wrought characters and it gave me a... Read morePublished on August 15, 2007 by G. Weisert
As someone who reads 200+ books a year, I know my way a little around literary works.
"The Headmaster Ritual" by Taylor Antrim is by far one of the best books I've read... Read more
The Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock once wrote about someone who didn't know what he was doing, "He got on his horse and rode off in all directions. Read morePublished on July 20, 2007 by concerned reader
I don't understand the negative reviews. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to future works from the author. Read morePublished on July 10, 2007 by Joseph P. Naughton